CWM Interview February 2009
Welcome
Blog/Online Bible Study
Prayer Partners
CWM Coaching Tips
Interview
Welcome

I hope everyone had a good Valentine’s Day. I certainly enjoyed my chocolate. In the world there are so many serious things going on right now and it is easy to get anxious or depressed. I encourage you to remember to have fun with your children and laugh. Have you ever noticed you don’t have to teach children how to play? It comes naturally. So, let us not forget to play.

Thanks Ashley for your willingness to be interviewed this month.

If you are prone to anxiety a great book to read is Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow. To find out more about the book, click here.

Blog/Online Bible Study

The CWM Blog is a great place for Moms to come and share with one another. Make sure to visit the CWM Blog at http://christianworkingmoms.blogspot.com. The Online Bible studies can be found at http://cwmbiblestudy.blogspot.com. Due to other projects I have been working on I have not added any new Bible Studies. That is still a goal of mine to add more Bible Studies.

Prayer Partners

Would you like another CWM praying for you? We have many CWM prayer partners who are matched with sisters in Christ from all over the world. If you would like a prayer partner send an email to Kimberly@kimberlychastain.com and put prayer partner in the subject heading. I will send you a prayer partner’s name and you can begin praying for one another.

CWM Coaching Tips

Do you want to spend more time in God’s Word and don’t know how to start? Then, consider having an email devotional mailed to you daily. To find out more go to:
http://www.kimberlychastain.com/cwmtips.htm.

Interview

Ashley is a married 38 year old CWM who lives in the United States. She has two children an 8 year old boy named Hudson and a 4 year old boy named Porter.

She is the Vice President of Business Development for SharedBook, Inc.

Ashley’s favorite Bible Verse is: Mark 12: 30-31, from the King James Version

“And thou salt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”

For me, these verses explain what is important about being a Christian. First, the acknowledgment that there is a higher power; that my life is not mine alone, and that there is something greater than ourselves in the world. And second, that the person standing next to you, no matter who they are, is every bit as important as you are and deserves your love simply because they are human. I think what these verses tell us is that the message Jesus brought to humanity is a directive to look outside ourselves, and to do so with love, which for me translates into compassion and forgiveness.

Ashley shares the joys of being a Christian Working Mom: The joys are when my kids do and say those things that help me to see I’m making at least a few of the right choices in my parenting. When Hudson, my eight-year-old, asks if there is someone we know who needs a family for Christmas and could we invite them over. Or Porter sits on Santa’s lap and reports back to me, “Mom, I told Santa thank you very much and Merry Christmas!” I pray a prayer of thanks that their hearts are right where they should be.

And then there’s the day not too long ago when we were in the car, and a voice from the back seat pipes up with, “Mom, tell me again, why did they kill Jesus?” This prompted a long discussion about people in power and how they will go to great lengths to keep it. And more importantly how often it is much harder to do the right thing than the easier, wrong thing; how sometimes when we choose to do the right thing, it angers or frightens others who aren’t strong enough to make the harder choice. Hudson’s question tells me that my son has taken Christianity as his own and that he has begun his unique journey to discover what he believes. As a parent, I think it is my job to teach, to lead by example, and make available to my children all that they need to make the best decisions, but not to force by rote or to offer them no room to question or explore. If I encourage them to ponder and ask questions, then I know that the faith they come to will be stronger because they built it.

The struggles of any working mom seem to be those of balance: how to find enough time and energy for the children, the husband, family and friends, volunteering and outreach, and work. But particularly for the Christian working mom, I wonder if there isn’t the added burden of a need to defend one’s life outside the home. I adore my children. They opened a place of joy in me that I didn’t know existed, they healed wounds long scarred, and they primed me to share in the grace of loving another without bounds. All of that is still true while I am at work. I have a need to challenge my intellect, to express my creativity, and to fight battles for what I believe in outside the four walls of my family. Neither my commitment to my faith nor my commitment to my family is diminished because I value my career. I think true Christianity has room for many ways of mothering.

If I am listening carefully and hearing correctly, I think God is teaching me patience. I have high expectations of myself, my children, and my world, and I am sometimes frustrated when we don’t all live up to them at my predetermined schedule. I think God frequently bestows on me tiny moments of pure grace that are meant to remind me to value the journey, and not to focus quite so much on the destination. One such moment happened not long after the car ride where we discussed the causes of the crucifixion. The original question was Hudson’s, but Porter’s little four-year-old ears were soaking up every word. A few days later, we were at church, standing in a long line of families waiting to take part in the Christmas hanging of the greens in our beautiful, turn-of-the-century stone sanctuary. This was the first time our family had been asked to participate, and I was preoccupied with worry that my children were dressed appropriately and that they would perform admirably. To keep him from running amok, I was holding Porter, even though he’s heavy and I was in heels. Despite my admonishment to keep quiet, he was babbling questions about the proceedings. But one question stopped me short of issuing another shhhh. “Mom,” he asked, “is God dead?”

“No, of course not,” I answered in shock. “God is alive and his spirit is all around us.”

“Oh. Then is Jesus dead?”

Now it was clear. Obviously, all that Porter had taken from that discussion in the car was that SOMEBODY was dead. I tried to make my answer one that Porter, my not-so-deep-thinker, could accept and comprehend. “Jesus did die. But he came back to us. So everything is good.”

“Oh. Okay, Mom.” And with that, he moved on to fighting with his brother over what chrismon he would put on the tree. And I allowed myself the release of the worry over our clothes, my kids’ behavior, and our role in the service, and embraced the peace that comes with accepting that really, it’s all good.

Ashley shares that I suspect God is much better at forgiving us than we are at forgiving ourselves. What I would wish for all of us is that we forgive our mistakes, let go of the self-criticism, and that we love ourselves as much as God loves us. What we are doing is difficult, and we won’t always do it well, but we will do it with all our hearts, and that is enough.

In conclusion, Ashley states I’ve enjoyed answering these questions and taking the time to consider what it means to be a Christian working mom. It helped me to see how truly blessed I am, and for that I am thankful. The exercise originally came about to help me share with other CWMs one of the products I’m proud to help bring to our community, a personalized prayer book. At www.yourdailyinspiringword.com you can create a book of daily prayers customized with your name and photograph or that of a loved one, so every day brings you closer to God. But in the end, I think I have learned much more than I have shared.

Ashley thanks again for sharing your words of wisdom. I especially appreciated your point about answering our children’s questions about faith and children making their faith their own. Also, how much our heavenly Father loves us.

Till next time,

Kimberly M. Chastain

Kimberly M. Chastain, MS, LMFT is the Christian Working Mom Coach and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She is the author of 2 ebooks and an online Bible study. To find out how to receive coaching tips by email daily, go to http://www.kimberlychastain.com/cwmtips.htm. You can find more information about Christian Working Moms at www.christianworkingmom.com For a free, initial coaching session send an email to free@kimberlychastain.com.